DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB -15th March 2020- IASbhai

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IASbhai DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS(THE HINDU+LIVEMINT+PIB)

Let us read and let us dance; these two amusements will never do any harm to the world.-Francois Voltaire
HIGHLIGHT INFO:

ORANGE COLOUR: Important for Prelims.

RED COLOUR: Important for Mains.

BLACK COLOUR: Must Read !

BLUE COLOUR : Important Links/Survey.

PINK COLOUR: Reports/Themes/Summits.

Defence fund shortfall

      HEADLINES:

MPs’ panel concerned at Defence fund shortfall

      WHY IN NEWS:

Reduced allocation will affect modernisation and triservice organisations, says parliamentary standing committee

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Defence

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS not an important issue .

For MAINS this is an important aspect where in you have to understand shortfalls and their respective implications.

      ISSUE: 

The shortfall in allocation has affected the setting up of three triservice organisations and the operational readiness of the Andaman and Nicobar Command

 

“The committee opines that such situation is not conducive for preparation of country to modern-day warfare, where possession of capital intensive modern machines are a prerequisite for not only tilting the result of war in our favour but also having a credible deterrence,”.

The committee noted the considerable shortage in the allocation in the capital head, which is 35% less than the projection, for all the forces put together.

Navy’s fighting capabilities depend on the high-value platforms like aircraft carrier, submarines, destroyers and frigate but the allocation of the capital budget for Navy [percentage-wise] has the sharpest decline,”.

Inadequate allocation would definitely lead to a “default situation” on contractual obligations.

COMMITMENTS MADE

“The implications of shortfall in miscellaneous expenditure include inability to operationalisation of Defence Space Agency (DSA), Defence Cyber Agency (DCYA) and Armed Forces Special Operations Division (AFSOD).

AT A DISADVANTAGE

Other implications are lower operational readiness of Andaman and Nicobar Command ships due to impact on annual refit plans, maintenance of SIGINT (Signal Intelligence) equipment and administration of training institutes and operational units.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

The committee has no option but to recommend that a dedicated fund should be earmarked for committed liabilities and new schemes, invariably from the next Budget onwards.”

     SOURCES:THE HINDU/DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains

COVID-19 hurts textile exports

      HEADLINES:

COVID-19 hurts textile exports

      WHY IN NEWS:

Supply chain disrupted, yarn exports fall 30% in Jan.-Feb.

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Textiles

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS it is important to know the contribution of Texprocil in the field of cotton and the major suppliers and importers of Indian cotton in the globe.

      ISSUE: 

Textile and clothing exporters have started feeling the impact of Covid-19 because of supply chain disruptions, fall in exports and cancellation of international events.

 

 

According to the Cotton Textiles Export Promotion Council (Texprocil), 11 countries buy 41% of India’s cotton yarn exports and these countries have reported COVID-19 cases.

Yarn exports are down 30% in value terms in January-February compared with a year earlier.

In the case of home textiles, the biggest markets include France, Germany and the U.S.

Texprocil has also called off Ind-Texpo 2020, its flagship event which is a reverse buyer-seller meet, to have been held in Coimbatore between March 17 and 19.

TEXPROCIL – THE INTERNATIONAL FACE OF INDIAN COTTON TEXTILES!

Since its inception in 1954, as an autonomous, nonprofit body dedicated to promotion of exports.

The Cotton Textiles Export Promotion Council, popularly known as TEXPROCIL has been the international face of cotton textiles from India facilitating exports worldwide.

Texprocil has a membership of around 3,000 companies spread across major textile clusters in India.

Its members are well established manufacturers and exporters of cotton textile products like Cotton, Yarns, Fabrics and Home Textiles, showcasing a dazzling array of products across the value chain.

The Council connects international buyers with appropriate suppliers and facilitates interaction that enables them to source their specific needs.

The Council enables better understanding of Indian and International trade policies, emerging trade issues, social and environmental compliances, quality management and sustainable business practices.

THE REVERSE BUYER SELLER MEET (RBSM)

The Reverse Buyer Seller Meet (RBSM), “Ind – Texpo” is a Show that provides a unique and effective platform for Indian suppliers to meet foreign buyers.

This Show has been organised with the objective of promoting the Textile and Clothing sector in India and is supported by the Ministry of Commerce and the Ministry of Textiles, Government of India.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

Texprocil provides regular updates on international product trends, trade related issues, advances in technology and the latest developments in the industry, as well as existing and emerging markets.

     SOURCES:THE HINDU/DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains

OneHealth

      HEADLINES:

The time is right for OneHealth science

      WHY IN NEWS:

Emergence of pathogens calls out for cross-country collaborations

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Diseases:Mitigation Policy

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS there are some key points in this article which mention how the diseases in past have been tackled.

For MAINS understand what OneHealth initiative is ! And the article clearly mentions some serious flaws at various levels of bureaucracy and pen them down .

      ISSUE: 

As India goes into emergency mode to tackle the potentially catastrophic impacts of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the ‘Kerala model’ is being widely cited as an example to emulate.

 

BACKGROUND:

NIPAH VIRUS OUTBREAK

In 2018, Kerala reacted quickly and efficiently to tackle the Nipah virus outbreak and successfully managed to confine it to 23 cases.

This success has been credited to the strong public health infrastructure and the political will to quickly seek help from a multidisciplinary team of national and international experts.

The Kerala Nipah virus outbreak was thought to have come from fruit bats, a group of animals that may also be implicated in other more deadly outbreaks, possibly including the novel coronavirus.

These diseases, which “spillover” from animals to humans are referred to as zoonotic diseases, and represent more than 60% of emerging infectious diseases worldwide.

Understanding this critical intersection between human health, domestic and wild animal health and the environment requires a new integrated framework — a paradigm called ‘OneHealth’.

KYASANUR FOREST DISEASE

Although OneHealth, as a conceptual entity, emerged relatively recently, a stellar example of OneHealth being operationalised in the field was seen in India in the late 1950s. It helped discover the source of Kyasanur Forest Disease (KFD), a highly dangerous haemorrhagic fever more threatening than COVID-19.

It was locally called ‘monkey fever’ because of the links between monkey deaths and human infections in Shimoga District of Karnataka where it emerged in 1957.

It took pioneering interdisciplinary work to bring together diverse entities like the Rockefeller Foundation and the Virus Research Centre (later the National Institute of Virology), Pune, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Bombay Natural History Society.

RANGE OF PERMISSIONS

The regulatory framework for doing OneHealth research in India with international collaboration typically requires approvals from multiple authorities, including ICMR, the Ministries of External Affairs and Finance, Directorate General of the Armed Forces, National Biodiversity Authority, Committee for the Purpose of Control & Supervision of Experiments on Animals and State health authorities.

Additional permissions are required from state forest authorities and biodiversity boards for accessing biological resources within natural landscapes.

A LONG WAIT:

While the necessity for research permits is not being questioned, the range of permissions needed and the long waiting periods (ranging from three months to more than a year), raises the issue of whether we are unwittingly hampering our ability to rapidly respond to emerging threats from infectious diseases.

Given our pioneering historical contribution to combat zoonotic diseases, and robust institutional framework for biomedical research.

An opportunity now exists for India to leap-frog over the systemic and institutional barriers that prevent an integrated OneHealth framework from being operationalised.

ONEHEALTH PROGRAMME

The OneHealth programme aims to encourage team science by having networks of institutions collectively bid for grants to set up integrated OneHealth surveillance systems across India at 25 sentinel surveillance sites in potential emerging infectious disease hotspots.

In this manner, government and private institutions, across a range of disciplines, from virology to epidemiology, genomics to ecology, and social and behavioural sciences to veterinary and animal sciences can collaborate to understand how zoonotic diseases can emerge, the threats they can pose, and the mechanisms by which the emergence or spread can be controlled.

The frequency with which new pathogens are emerging or old ones are re-emerging across the world are alarm calls for greater transparency, cross-country collaborations, and enhanced national infrastructure and capacity for integrated OneHealth science.

The cause of mitigating large-scale human suffering justifies making such a hitherto unprecedented effort.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

The destruction of the natural environment, globalised trade and travel and industrialised food production systems have created numerous pathways for new pathogens to jump between animals and humans.

Many decades later, India is yet to operationalise a true OneHealth policy.

     SOURCES:THE HINDU/DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains

Trial shows success in treating drug-resistant TB

      HEADLINES:

Trial shows success in treating drug-resistant TB

      WHY IN NEWS:

The small trial using three oral drugs in 109 patients showed a treatment success rate of 90%

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Diseases:Science and Technology

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS go through important drugs mentioned in this article and their usage.

      ISSUE: 

A small trial (Nix-TB) undertaken at three sites in South Africa to test the safety and efficacy of three oral drugs — bedaquiline, pretomanid and linezolid — in 109 patients (57 males and 56 females were HIV positive) with extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB) and multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) showed encouraging results — treatment success rate was 90%.

 

Combating resistance: The 90% treatment success in the case of hard-to-treat patients is at par with the success rate seen while treating drug-sensitive TB.

The favourable results held true regardless of the HIV status of the patients.

SUCCESS RATE

The 90% treatment success in the case of hard-to-treat patients is at par with the success rate seen while treating drug-sensitive TB.

The treatment success rate was 89% (63 of 71) for XDR-TB and 92% (35 of 38).

ADVERSE EFFECTS

“This study shows that XDR tuberculosis and complicated MDR tuberculosis can be treated with a regimen consisting of three oral agents for 26 weeks,.

Of the three drugs used in the trial, a “high-percentage” of patients experienced adverse effects related to linezolid drug.

Of the 109 patients treated, 88 patients (81%) had peripheral neuropathy (weakness, numbing and pain usually of hands and feet due to nerve damage), though the symptoms were mild to moderate in the majority of cases.

Two patients developed optic neuritis, where the optic nerve becomes inflamed, which was resolved when linezolid drug was withdrawn.

Linezolid is a synthetic antibiotic, the first of the oxazolidinone class, used for the treatment of infections caused by multi-resistant bacteria including streptococcus and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). The drug works by inhibiting the initiation of bacterial protein synthesis.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

The treatment using the three oral drugs lasted for 26 weeks and was followed-up for six months after the end of the treatment. Patients received the treatment daily for 26 weeks.

The trial of 109 patients included 71 who had XDR-TB and 38 with MDR-TB.

     SOURCES:THE HINDU/DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains

Superhydrophobic coating to save metallic surfaces

      HEADLINES:

Superhydrophobic coating to save metallic surfaces

      WHY IN NEWS:

Created with polyurethane and silicon dioxide nanoparticles, the coating can be easily spin-coated on steel

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Science and Technology

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS understand the whole process of this study and just remember lotus while reading this article.

      ISSUE: 

Fascinated by the beauty of water rolling off a lotus leaf, a team of chemical engineers has now created a similar superhydrophobic coating that can be used to save steel from rusting.

Repels water: In the case of a coated sample, water droplets roll away leaving the surface free of dust.

FINDINGS:

The team from the Indian Institute of Technology (Indian School of Mines), Dhanbad, and Ohio State University used polyurethane and silicon dioxide nanoparticles to create the coating which can be easily spin-coated on steel.

“Not just steel, the coating can be done on other metallic surfaces, such as aluminum, copper, brass. But also successfully developed superhydrophobic coatings for glass, cloth, paper and wood,”.

TREATED SURFACE

Before applying the coating, the team created a roughness on the steel using a chemical etching process to improve the adhesion strength. Without this, the coating tends to easily peal off due to smoothness of steel.

The team also tried different methods for the application of the coat on steel and found that spin coating was advantageous and cost-effective compared to immersion coating and spray coating.

Spin coating dried quickly and the thickness of the coat could be controlled easily.

The surface of the coating was found to have superhydrophobic property.

The coating was also chemically stable in both acidic (pH 5) and alkaline (pH 8) conditions for more than six weeks.

It also exhibited thermal stability up to 230 degree C.

SELF-CLEANING COATING

When water droplets were made to fall on an uncoated surface they stuck to it and made a messy surface.

However, in the case of a coated sample, water droplets roll away while collecting dust from the surface.

EASY TO MAKE

“The chemicals used to make the coating are easily available in our country and they are environmental friendly too.

When mass-produced on commercial scale, the cost of coating will further reduce.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

Now the team is working on developing an antimicrobial superhydrophobic coating for biomedical applications.

     SOURCES:THE HINDU/DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains

Heat stress

      HEADLINES:

Heat stress may impact over 1.2 billion people annually by 2100: study

      WHY IN NEWS:

This is more than 12 times the number who would have been affected without industrial era global warming

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 1:3:Climate Change

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS there are a few observations made in this study with respect to global warming and humidity which are quiet interesting.

      ISSUE: 

Stress from extreme heat and humidity will annually impact areas which are home to about 1.2 billion people worldwide by 2100, assuming current greenhouse gas emissions.

Heat stress: High temperatures may damage the brain and other vital organs.

GLOBAL WARMING AND HUMIDITY

This is more than four times the number of people affected today, and more than 12 times the number who would have been affected without industrial era global warming, said researchers from Rutgers University-New Brunswick in the US.

Rising global temperatures are increasing exposure to heat stress, which harms human health, agriculture, the economy and the environment.

Most climate studies on projected heat stress have focused on heat extremes but not considered the role of humidity.

“When we look at the risks of a warmer planet, we need to pay particular attention to combined extremes of heat and humidity, which are especially dangerous to human health,”.

Humidity is the concentration of water vapour present in the air. Water vapour, the gaseous state of water, is generally invisible to the human eye. Humidity indicates the likelihood for precipitation, dew, or fog to be present.

“Every bit of global warming makes hot, humid days more frequent and intense.

HEAT STRESS

Heat stress is caused by the body’s inability to cool down properly through sweating.

Body temperature can rise rapidly, and high temperatures may damage the brain and other vital organs.

Heat stress ranges from milder conditions like heat rash and heat cramps to heat exhaustion, the most common type.

The study looked at how combined extremes of heat and humidity increase on a warming Earth, using 40 climate simulations to get statistics on rare events.

It focused on a measure of heat stress that accounts for temperature, humidity and other environmental factors, including wind speed, sun angle and solar and infrared radiation.

An estimated 1.2 billion people would be affected with 3 degrees Celsius of warming, as expected by the end of this century under current global policies.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

Annual exposure to extreme heat and humidity in excess of safety guidelines is projected to affect areas currently home to about 500 million people if the planet warms by 1.5 degrees Celsius, and nearly 800 million at 2 degrees Celsius.

     SOURCES:THE HINDU/DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains

 Let us ‘Discuss’

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

Let us know what you think about this in the comment section.

     SOURCES:THE HINDU/DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains

 

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